I used a new curriculum this year for spelling and thought I’d write a sort of review. I have always had Sean using workbooks for his grade but they were too easy. He spent too much time practicing words he already knew. Then I heard about Spelling Power and decided to give it a try.
The program has words grouped according to the frequency of use and they are grouped by spelling rules. You introduce the rule and then give a test. Each day they get new words and retest on ones previously missed. The kids enjoy taking the tests because they like to see how many words they can already spell.
This first year, we did not use the activities, because the kids started reading a bunch and quickly moved ahead in their spelling skills so they were not missing a lot of words. Next year, I will need to implement the entire program including the activities which help teach spelling skills because the kids have skipped a whole level and will have much more difficult words. At the end of the year, we did the survey test and placement tests. According to Spelling Power’s assessment, Sierra will be starting with 5th grade words (in 2nd grade) when we start school in August. Sean still needs to complete the placement test but will either be starting with 6th or 7th grade words (in 4th grade). For both of them, they spell very well because they read a lot and they have visual memories (especially Sierra).
It cracked me up when I was giving Sierra her placement test… she was trying so hard because, as she said, “I don’t want to be in a too easy level next year”. She does not like to spend time doing workbooks or spelling words that are “too easy”. One of the words she worked the hardest on was turquoise. She kept going back to it and making little corrections until she ended up with turgoise. She has a good visual memory and has seen the word spelled before. She hasn’t had a lot of experience with the letter Q (q) but what was interesting, is that she wrote her g like q so I had to ask her if it was a g or a q. She wrote it how she has seen it in type and thought it was a g.
Anyway, Spelling Power will stay with us throughout their school years. I invested once in the teacher’s manual (used on eBay) and the activity cards. I did buy them notebooks for this year, but next year I will use the accompanying CDs to print their pages as needed at the copy place.